John-Henry Westen

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Pope could learn from 3 ancient Israelites who stood up to idolatry

Why is it that Pope Francis can’t seem to stand up for the Catholic faith?
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John-Henry Westen By John-Henry Westen

October 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The pagan ceremony that occurred in the Vatican Gardens on Friday, October 4 was more than just distressing. In a ceremony observed by the pope, a “priestess” shaking maracas led the apparent worship of two statutes of naked women. Numerous people, including a Franciscan priest, prostrated themselves in front of these statues. 

The Vatican has just recently released a statement clarifying that the statue was not the Virgin Mary, one possible interpretation offered by Bishop David Martínez. Even if it had been the Virgin Mary, it was an extremely disrespectful depiction. 

The Bible provides many examples of the folly of idol worship. The Israelites seemed to continue to fall into idolatry and faced harsh punishments for their wayward hearts. The Bible also provides us with many examples of great faith. One that comes to mind is the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

In the book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to the golden idol created by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. In his rage, the king threw them into a furnace, stoked to seven times its normal heat. God saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the heat of the furnace and facilitated King Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion through their survival. 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were the only Israelites who refused to bow to the idol, and they were risking prominent careers in the court (to say nothing of their lives). Despite the pressure they must have felt from everyone around them doing the wrong thing and the risk of losing material wealth and even their lives, they stood up for the truth.

Why is it that Pope Francis can’t seem to stand up for the Catholic faith? He is not being threatened by an angry leader, but is a leader himself. The idolatrous statues and pagan ritual the pope attended are only the beginning of his denigration of the Catholic faith. 

It is time to evangelize with the truth of Christ boldly, not equate Catholicism with every other belief. 

Watch the full video to learn more about the punishments outlined in Exodus for those who worship idols.

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John-Henry Westen

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John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.  

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.  

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.